The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Abramoff's bipartisan benificence

The explanation for the infamous ethics truce in the US House was that of Joe E Brown at the end of Some Like It Hot: "Nobody's perfect."

The Dem bad boys' infractions may have been small beer compared to those of their GOP colleagues [1], but that wouldn't be the way it would appear, once the GOP manipulation machine got working!

The principle extends to Jack Abramoff and the largesse he bestowed on pols, notably (but not exclusively) with funds obtained from Indian gaming tribes [2], according to a piece in the Post on Friday:
Senate Democratic leaders Reid and Daschle each received more than $40,000 from the tribes and from lobbyists on Abramoff's team during the period [3]. Gephardt got $32,500.

Of the 18 largest recipients of tribe contributions directed by Abramoff's group, six, or one-third, were Democrats. These included Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2001 to 2002, and Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (N.D.), a leader in Indian affairs legislation.

Over that period, while Abramoff and his lobbyists directed nearly $4 million in funds from the tribes to lawmakers, they also gave from their own pockets. Two-thirds of the total went to Republicans and one-third was handed out to Democrats, according to The Post's calculations.

Plenty of Dem legislators are living in the proverbial glass houses, it seems.

And, given the chutzpah-tastic assault on in the integrity of Mark Felt by such paragons of civic virtue as G Gordon Liddy, and the Swift Boat nonsense last year, can you doubt that the VRWC will manage to fling more than enough mud at Senate Dems if they seek to make a Federal case of Abramoff's misdeeds?

(The DOJ is a different matter, of course.)

In the light of the Conventional Wisdom on the K Street Project, it's interesting to read that
Most lobbying firms here are bipartisan, to give their clients access to key lawmakers of both major parties. Abramoff's group was no exception. Although he was recognized as a Republican lobbyist who was close to DeLay and other party leaders, Abramoff was careful to add at least two Democratic lobbyists to his group during his five years at Greenberg Traurig. By the end, seven of his lobbyists were Democrats.

"Lobbying shops typically direct contributions to both parties because they want contacts on both sides of the aisle," said David M. Hart, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. "Lawmakers in the minority can also have a lot of clout."

Try telling that to I Voted Against the Bankruptcy Bill Before I Voted For It Harry Reid!

  1. But, to continue the quote-dropping, how could they tell?

  2. Indian gaming is, as earlier pieces here have sought to demonstrate, a putrid racket designed to produce large amounts of cash in order to corrupt the elected branches at state and Federal level.

  3. Reading the piece, grammatically, the period must refer to the years 1999 to 2001. But then its next use of the word period naturally refers to Murray's tenure of the DSCC chair from 2001 to 2002. Caveat maxime lector!

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